Shalom dear Servas friends in Israel,
for 2 weeks - Oct./Nov. 2012 we were in Israel. We - that are Marina & Harald Seiffert from Servas Germany and our long time friend Alexander Petryasov from Servas Russia.
In advance we had booked 1 week in the Ein Gedi kibbutz hotel to enjoy and cure at the Dead Sea, have treatment with the famous mud and the hot sulphur baths in the lower spa and with massages in the new spa (straight in the kibbutz hotel area, had just been opened). Before and after that week in Ein Gedi we were Servas travellers - for Marina the 1st time in Israel, and a wonderful experience.
First we stayed in Haifa with Haim and Lisete Murik who Harald new from GAs in Spain and Italy and from his former trip to Israel when he stayed with Amir Levy in a Haifa suburb. The bus shuttle brought us straight to their house where they were already awaiting us. What a great reception - such is Servas! Haim proved to be a hobby-guide. He led us through Haifa and showed us the most important attractions incl. the Bahai Gardens, and his birth house is a Bahai property now. We were delighted, also about Haim’s knowledge about his location and historical contexts. We were lucky that they had enough time for us - Lisete to prepare very good meals, and Haim even to go with us to Akko where we were even more lucky: In that historical Arabic harbor town we could experience the celebration of the Eid al-Adha and taste the particular humus from Akko. - Thank you, Haim & Lisete!
It was Amir Levy’s hint to ride the train to Jerusalem, our next place. We rode through a wonderful landscape - so thanks for that hint. We were lucky to have Amir Navon’s company like a Day Host in the evening to show us the centre of the city with many shops and restaurants in pedestrian zones. We were also at places where there was the border/wall through Jerusalem formerly, which reminded us of the parted Berlin. So, also this company was very good. - Thank you, Amir!
After Jerusalem then Ein Gedi - and even there we could meet Servas friends - Vladimir & Raya Hochstein, Alexander Petryasov’s 1st host 2 or 3 years ago and now friends from Ofrah. When they heard that he is in Ein Gedi with his German friends they immediately decided to come on Shabbat and have a picnic-afternoon with us. - Thank you, Vladimir & Raya!
Then came our last place - Herzliya - even with 2 Servas hosts as Claudia & Shlomy Sagi had already a Servas guest from France and could offer only 1 more double bed room for us. As Harald had been their guest already on a former trip and also had announced our trip to Claudia at the GA in Poland he and Marina made use of Claudia & Shlomy’s offer to stay with them. For Alexander they helped us to find another Servas host not far from their home. So he was the 1st Servas guest for the Russian speaking new host Efi Dennis + Oxana Ronski who picked us up from CBS after our arrival in Herzliya.
Claudia proposed places of interest in Tel Aviv (e.g. Jaffa) and gave us a city map, Efi and Oxana took us along to T.A. and back and explained a lot about when they had some business there anyway. For the evening Claudia & Shlomy had invited all of us to the great Shabbat dinner - another wonderful experience. Our stay ended next day with a great Shabbat breakfast at Claudia & Shlomy together with Alexander and another host who had met Harald on his former trip - Ohad & Miriam Artzi. So wonderful last days in Israel for all of us. - Thank you to all of you, mainly to Claudia, Shlomy, Efi and Oxana!
We took great feelings with us to Germany. And then the shock 3 days later with war and even a rocket near the beach at T.A.-Jaffa where we had walked the promenade only the Friday before. And now when writing this, it is a great joy and relief for us to hear that there is an agreement for pausing fire. So, let’s hope for the best. We would like to come again anytime to Israel - very nice people, in particular the Servas hosts.
Harald & Marina Seiffert